From left to right, Redmond High’s 200-yard medley relay team of freshman Michelle Chen (backstroke), sophomore Catherine Yu (breaststroke), sophomore Andrea Wu (butterfly) and senior captain Jamesyn Gray (freestyle) splashed into their first meet of the season on Sept. 19 with a state-qualifying time of 1:52.52 (the WIAA automatic state-qualifying time is 1:53.50). Yu also qualified for state in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:11.68. Redmond defeated Juanita, 105-59. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Skinner-Gray

From left to right, Redmond High’s 200-yard medley relay team of freshman Michelle Chen (backstroke), sophomore Catherine Yu (breaststroke), sophomore Andrea Wu (butterfly) and senior captain Jamesyn Gray (freestyle) splashed into their first meet of the season on Sept. 19 with a state-qualifying time of 1:52.52 (the WIAA automatic state-qualifying time is 1:53.50). Yu also qualified for state in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:11.68. Redmond defeated Juanita, 105-59. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Skinner-Gray

Redmond swimmers notch state-qualifying times

‘It’s like pure instinct.’

Redmond High sophomore Catherine Yu said that when she dives into the pool, her body takes care of everything.

“It’s like pure instinct. You swim how you swim, and whatever the outcome is, you have to accept it,” she added prior to practice on Monday afternoon at Strattonwood Pool in Redmond.

So far, the results have been stellar for Yu, including 4A state-qualifying times in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:05.58), 200-yard individual medley (2:11.68) and as part of the 200-yard medley relay (1:52.52) with senior captain Jamesyn Gray, sophomore Andrea Wu and freshman Michelle Chen, who has also notched a state time of 1:00.09 in the 100-yard backstroke.

In the relays, the girls are a well-prepared crew and know they’re ready to make an impact, Yu said.

“I think it’s just the relays are a lot of fun. We’re just hyping each other up and we’re just getting really excited and just trying to get out there and race other people,” she said.

Gray anchored the relay with her freestyle, and followed Wu’s butterfly, Yu’s breaststroke and Chen’s backstroke.

“I was focused on a good send-off, so making sure I left as soon as Andrea touched the wall. My biggest thing when I’m swimming freestyle is to focus on not breathing because it’s a sprint. It’s a 50 down and back, so I don’t really need to breathe,” she said.

The relay hit its state time to kick off the Mustangs’ first meet of the season on Sept. 19 against Juanita, which fell to Redmond, 105-59. Since Redmond doesn’t have any divers on its squad, Gray said the Mustangs start their meets down by 13 points.

In preparation for meet one, Gray said the girls benefited from an extra week of practices at Strattonwood, which is their outdoor training facility while Hartman Pool is undergoing renovations. The Mustangs’ home base for meets is the Juanita Aquatics Center.

“I think we all kind of feel the pressure (that) we have to do well every single meet, we have to place well in order to make up those points. Getting the state cut was very exciting. None of us were planning for that. We were just like, ‘We just gotta win this,’ and getting that was an added bonus,” Gray said.

Chen is an experienced club swimmer and was excited to dip her toes into the high-school scene this fall. She enjoys the Mustangs’ team spirit and bonding with the girls.

Earning state times adds a nice touch to the scenario as well.

“It was pretty cool. I was really happy,” said Chen, noting that she would like to make a few more state cuts and drop some times as her inaugural prep season continues.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@redmond-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.redmond-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Sports

Redmond High’s girls swim team took third place at the 4A state meet on Nov. 13 at the King County Aquatics Center in Federal Way. Photo courtesy of Adam Lu
Redmond swimmers shine at state meet

Redmond High’s girls swimmers notched five first-place titles and finished third in… Continue reading

Photo courtesy of Panthers Youth Rugby
Panthers Youth Rugby rolls into action

Panthers Youth Rugby is encouraging boys and girls in middle school and… Continue reading

t
Redmond coach, grapplers join Ascend Wrestling Academy

Redmond High wrestling coach Lantz Schwabenbauer and several local grapplers are part… Continue reading

A Decatur High School student in Federal Way participates in a conditioning workout in Feb. 2021 as the state eased back in to in-person activities. Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing
State announces mask requirements for student sports, performing arts

Athletes are not required to wear masks when participating in sports of any contact level while outside.

Screenshot of video obtained by Redmond police shows Richard Sherman trying to break into the Redmond home of his in-laws.
Former Seattle Seahawks player Richard Sherman charged with five misdemeanors in King County

Charges were filed following an incident at home of Sherman’s in-laws in Redmond.

Screenshot
Redmond Police arrest former Seattle Seahawk Richard Sherman

Redmond Police allege former Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman crashed into a… Continue reading

Snoqualmie Casino unveiled the first immersive Seahawks-branded table game experience Sept. 18, 2020, in a ribbon cutting dedication with Snoqualmie Tribe Council members and Snoqualmie Casino executives. Courtesy photo
Gambling Commission OKs pacts with tribes for sports betting

Agreements with 15 tribes await approval by the governor and the feds.

Kentwood High football. FILE PHOTO
WIAA Executive Board revises Season 1 sports in response to state guidelines

Practices scheduled to begin Feb. 1 for football, volleyball, soccer and 5 other sports

The Mercer Island boys basketball celebrates their 61-36 victory over Interlake in the 3A KingCo championship game on Feb. 11, 2020, at Sammamish High School. File photo
WIAA pushes back return to play for prep sports

Season 2 now begins Feb. 1 and seasons have been shortened to seven weeks each.

In this file photo from March 2020, the Federal Way High School boys basketball team reacts in the final minutes of the state quarterfinals game against Mt. Si High School. File photo
New guidelines released for return of prep sports in WA

The new plan places counties and sports in three-tier systems. No signs of a quicker return to play.

Redmond football squad is ready to ‘Pound the Rock’
Redmond football squad is ready to ‘Pound the Rock’

Mustangs open season against Squalicum.

Doctor IDs safety measures for youth team sports practices
Doctor IDs safety measures for youth team sports practices

Before practice begins, parents must understand COVID-19 protective protocols